Freudenberg celebrates anniversary in Taiwan

Weinheim, October 11, 2013.  The Freudenberg Group celebrates the 25-year anniversary of its site in Taoyuan, Taiwan tomorrow. The company, Far Eastern Spunweb, is a market leader in the field of spunlaid nonwovens on the Asian market. It serves large customers in the markets for carpet tiles, automotive interiors, filters and construction throughout Asia and Australia.  Further site expansion is planned over the next few years on the basis of the company’s considerable success. The total amount invested will be in the order of a two-digit million sum. Environmental protection is a focal point at the site: with the help of recycling production technology, the spunlaid nonwovens will be manufactured from plastic bottles.

“Thanks to the know-how of our employees, some of whom have worked for Freudenberg Far Eastern Spunweb for over 20 years, we have managed to grow from a company with 20 employees in 1988 to market leader of an entire branch,” says Lin Gow Ming, Chief Executive Officer who has been with the company since the start.  Freudenberg Far Eastern Spunweb Co., a joint venture between the Freudenberg Group, the Far Eastern Group and Japan Vilene Company began with the construction of its first production plant 25 years ago in Taoyuan.

At first, the company served only one market segment, namely the market for carpet tiles. Through innovation and diversification, the company developed systematically and today serves customers in the construction, shoe and automotive industries – among them global companies such as Adidas and Interface. Adidas recently awarded Far Eastern Spunweb the “Best Supplier Award.” This is an award that honors the best 15 suppliers from 300 international companies.

Of a total of 400 Freudenberg associates in Taiwan, around 140 employees are employed by Far Eastern Spunweb in Taoyuan today. It represents the largest Freudenberg Group site in an Asiatic country. Far Eastern Spunweb sets great store on its working conditions. Wages are above average and employees are continually trained. This is the only way high quality standards can be guaranteed. And it has been a successful strategy: Far Eastern Spunweb has made it to the top of the Asian market for spunlaid nonwovens.

Environmental protection through innovative recycling of spunlaid nonwovens
Environmentally-friendly and sustainable production are the hallmarks of this state of the art technology for the manufacture of spunlaid nonwovens. The process enables PET bottles to be recycled and new spunlaid nonwovens to be manufactured with the resulting raw material. Lighter and more uniform products consisting largely of recycled materials, result from the process. Far Eastern Spunweb is one of the first companies in Taiwan to have discovered this technology.

Customer demand is so high that the site is to be expanded in the coming years. The new production line should increase site capacity by thousands tons of spunlaid nonwovens per year. “With this new investment we are strengthening our production in the region to serve our local customers more quickly,” says Bruce Olson, CEO of Freudenberg Nonwovens.

In the field of energy efficiency, environmental protection is of considerable significance for the company. The first production plant has already switched from diesel to natural gas to avoid harmful emissions. Furthermore, improvements in the spinning process have led to a reduction in energy costs of 20 percent.